The largest of all the Greek islands, Crete is extremely popular among travellers for its beautiful yet varied landscapes. Starting from long stretches of beaches full of fine grains of sand to huge mountains covered with white snow, Crete offers you some of the most gorgeous vistas you will get to experience in Greece. That is why if you are looking for a Greek vacation, but you do not want to face the touristy crowd on the mainland, then Crete will be the ideal vacation spot for you. Once served as a home to the ancient Minoan civilization, the island of Crete is full of history and culture. Just book one of the luxurious Crete rentals and spend your holiday exploring the various sites and attractions which you can find on this beautiful island to have a truly enjoyable and authentic Greek vacation.
When to go
The climate of Crete is one of the best that you will get to experience in the whole of Europe. The island is blessed with beautiful sunlight almost all of the year, and most of the people will enjoy the weather. July to early-September are generally the peak season when travellers from all over the world visit this island to enjoy an island getaway during the summer months. However, if you want to steer clear of the peak season crowds, then the late spring months and the months of autumn will be best for you. Most of the peak season crowd will be gone by then, the prices will be relatively lower and you will get to enjoy the tranquil beauty of this Greek island in its unadulterated form. That is why mid-May to June and mid-September to October is the best time to visit Crete in our opinion.
Where to go
Dubbed the Old Town of Crete, Rethymno is a beautiful city which was built during the days of the ancient Minoan civilization. It was a really prominent and important town during that ancient times, and you could experience a lot of Greece’s history when you take a trip to this city. This beautiful seaside neighbourhood dates back to the 11th century, and you will surely find yourself going back in time during your visit. Through the narrow alleyways, enjoy some food at some of the wonderful restaurants and cafes lining the streets, spend some relaxing time by the beach and shop your heart out. Do remember to take a trip to the Venetian Fortezza and the harbour while you are here.
Located at Western Crete, Chania is arguably the best town in Crete which you must visit during your vacation. Considered as the crown jewel of Crete, this town used to be the capital of the island in the old years. This picturesque little town is a place full of history and wonderful places which make is a must-visit location. The 14th-century old town is full of narrow and winding streets, waterfront restaurants and a lot of beautiful places. Both the Old Town and the Old Port serve as photographers’ paradise with a ton of picturesque places. Do remember to visit the Nautical and the Archaeological Museums while you are here. You can also go for a relaxing dip at one of the local beaches or take a ride to Chrysi Akti, a really nice public beach located just 5 kilometres away from the main town.
Being the capital of Crete, the wonderful town of Heraklion can serve as a standalone destination itself. The town acts as the exit point for the Crete-Santorini-Mykonos axis and it is also the main port to enter the mainland. The primary international airport of Crete is also located only 3 kilometres away from the town centre, which makes it a town frequented and loved by travellers. You will get to see two of the main archaeological attractions of Crete when you visit this town, namely the Archaeological Museum and the Knossos Citadel. The streets of Heraklion are busy with a lot of popular places to eat, drink, shop, and socialise. The nightlife is great too, and you can enjoy your time exploring all the fun things this town has in store for you.
What to do
Visit the Palace of Knossos
Considered the top archaeological and historical attraction in Crete, the Palace of Knossos is an attraction which you have to visit when you travel to Crete. Located at a short distance away from Iraklio, Knossos used to serve as the capital of the ancient Minoan civilization. Travel through this ancient site and learn all about this ancient civilization while you are here.
Click a picture at the Elafonisi Beach
The beaches of Crete are all beautiful, but Elafonisi Beach holds a special place among them. It is one of the most picturesque pink sand beaches you can ever visit in your life. Situated next to a national park, this beautiful pink sand beach is a must-visit for every traveller who visits the island of Crete.
Drive to Stefanou Beach
The drive to Stefanou Beach will be one of the most exciting and memorable experience you will get to have in Crete. The road to this secret beach is extremely adventurous, as the downward slope is steep, zig-zagged and narrow. You would also have to trek for a good 15 minutes through rough terrain before you get to the beach, so this is one must-do activity for every adventure lover.
Go for a hike at Samariá Gorge
Samariá Gorge is one of the most popular destinations in Crete. This Greek National Park will surely entice you with its jaw-dropping vistas and breathtaking landscapes. You can go for a hike through the gorge to experience the rugged beauty. Start from the Omalos plateau and hike your way to Agia Roumeli. However, remember to bring enough water and snacks with you when you go for the hike.